Designing homes to conserve energy and use it efficiently, from sources that cause least environmental harm.

Standby mode

Some appliances left in standby mode can consume a significant amount of energy.

Many appliances have a standby mode during which they are not providing useful output but still consume energy. Some appliances use standby power to light an LED display while some are waiting for remote control signals to tell them to start operating, or are sending and/or receiving signals to other appliances such as home automation systems.

By some estimates, standby power costs an average household around $100 each year. Gaming consoles, printers and wireless routers are among devices with the highest standby power consumption.

Standby power can be saved by turning appliances off at the wall if they are not being used.

Standby power is considered in the calculation of Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS).

The amount of energy that new appliances use in standby mode has dropped significantly in recent years as they have become more energy efficient. Standby consumption for televisions, for example, was 2050 watts a decade ago, but today is around 3 watts.

A large part of the change came as a result of regulations set by the European Union. Since 2009, a wide range of appliances (including computers, TVs, audio and video equipment, dishwashers, microwave ovens, and electric toys) must switch into a low power mode (such as standby) after a reasonable amount of time. Since 2013, they must not consume more than 0.5 Watts in standby or in off mode. That same year, specific requirements for network-connected standby devices were introduced, and since January 2017, networked standby devices sold in the EU must not consume more than 3 to 12 Watts depending on the product.


Updated: 02 May 2023